How do you celebrate Easter? With church, holidays, chocolate eggs – or all three? Around the world, it’s not always so simple! Here’s how these 8 countries make the most of their Easter breaks.
Finland – Witchy Traditions
Finnish children pay heed to Easter by covering their faces in soot, dressing up in headscarves, grabbing their ‘broomsticks’ and begging in the street, much in the same way we do on Halloween. In some parts of the country, others also burn bonfires in an attempt to scare off any witches, who reportedly fly about over the Easter holiday.
Poland – Drenching
Known as Śmigus-Dyngus or ‘Wet Monday,’ Easter in Poland involves boys throwing water over the girls (and anyone else they can get their hands on) and slapping them lightly with pussy willow branches. On Tuesday, the girls do the same to the boys!
U.S. – Presidential Partying
One of the best-known Easter events in the country, the White House Easter Egg Roll takes place each Easter Monday – and it’s been running for 138 years! Attendance is by lottery only and of course, the President is expected to attend.
Colombia – Eating of Exotic Animals
The week leading up to Easter, or Holy Week, is a big deal in Colombia and is often considered either holiday time (think something akin to ‘Spring Break’ in the US) or a time to celebrate religiously.
One of the most bizarre aspects of the Colombian Easter, though, is the rise in the smuggling of iguanas, turtles and giant rodents, which people want to either sell or cook and eat as part of their traditional Easter meals. Yum?
Greece – Pot Smashing
You’ll find plenty of religious festivals and processions throughout Easter in Greece. But on the Greek island of Corfu, another odd tradition takes place – pot smashing!
Easter Saturday here kicks off with a church service and a re-enactment of the earthquake that followed Christ’s resurrection. As the parade takes place through the streets, spectators also throw clay pots from their balconies onto the streets below. Heads up!
Hong Kong – Endless Champagne Brunches
Hong Kong Easters are similar in style to those in the western world. But many 5-star hotels also kick back and offer luxury Easter buffet brunches!
One such hotel is the Mandarin Oriental, whose Easter Sunday brunch this year will be served alongside unlimited flowing champagne, not to mention egg-hunting and Easter bunny events for kids.
Spain – Huge Processions & Parades
Easter in Spain is one of the biggest religious holidays of the whole year and it’s known as Holy Week or Semana Santa.
If you’re ever in Spain for Easter, though, we recommend heading to Seville. Here, you’ll get to see a parade of gigantic, lavishly decorated floats that depict the story of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.
PS. Don’t let the Brotherhood costumes fool you, either. These pointed hats are called capirotes and the tradition of wearing them stems from medieval times. They’re intended to represent penance, not anything prejudicial.
France – Giant Omelettes
Easter in France is similar to celebrations in other western countries. Some people go to church while others (especially kids) take part in Easter egg hunts. One notable tradition, however, is the Easter Monday making of the giant omelette in the town of Haux. It takes over 4,000 eggs to make, spans almost 3 metres and feeds roughly 1,000 people! Can we have some?